As we continue to to explore the northwest, we have been continually impressed with the diversity in outdoor recreation that this part of the country has to offer. Climbing on big mountains, hiking though lush forests, and kayaking past coastal beaches are never more than a few hours away. The possib-ilities seem endless.
These amazing recreational opportunities often have volunteers working behind the scenes, promoting conservation and providing manual labour to keep things running smoothly. We had the opportunity to work with one such group when we visited Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest to work with American Hiking Society's Volunteer Vacation program. Working in conjucture with the Pacific Northwest Trail Association, this group was spending a week in the forest building a much needed section of trail. The crew was eager to learn techniques for reducing their impacts while traveling and camping in a group setting. In addition to building trails, this particularly giving group chose to give even more by becoming members of Leave No Trace. We walked away looking forward to seeing the results of all their hard work; they walked away with happy feet, due impart to the new socks that we were able to give them thanks to the support of our amazing sock sponsor...SmartWool.
After spending a few days in Washington, we headed back to Portland to work with Georgia Bosse at the Muddy Boot Organic Festival. Georgia is the Leave No Trace state advocate for Oregon, which means she plays a key role in coordinating Leave No Trace trainings, workshops, and events in Oregon. The Muddy Boot Organic Festival is a two day celebration of sustainalbe living.
Our next stop was Bend, OR, where we met up with our good friend Jenna Linbo. Jenna was our classmate a few years ago on a Wilderness Education Association course. In addition to catching up with Jenna, we were also able to present a Leave No Trace workshop as part of a 4-day canoe trip that she was leading for Cascade Adventures. Cascade Adventures is a student based outdoor adventure program that offers recreational opportunities to students at both Oregon State University-Cascades and Central Oregon Community College. The morning after our presentation we were surprised and excited to see several eagles and hawks circling the river near where we had camped. Upon closer investigation we realized that the river was full of spawning salmon and the birds where taking full advantage of this natural phenomenon.